- A constitutional lawyer Okoli Akirika said the amended 1999 constitution cannot bar former president Jonathan from contesting for president of Nigeria if he is interested
- Akirika noted that the new law had barred any person from occupying the office of president or governor for more than eight years
- He maintained that Jonathan was not sworn in as president of Nigeria under the amended constitution
A constitutional lawyer, Okoli Akirika said the contextual and community reading of sections 135 and 137 of the Constitution would not bar cannot bar former President Goodluck Jonathan from vying for president of Nigeria if he wants.
The amendment, which was assented to by President Muhammadu Buhari penultimate week, stated that anyone who had been sworn in as president or governor to complete the term of an elected president or governor cannot do more than a single term.
Punch reports that Akirika said the ‘intendment’ of the lawmakers was salutary because it would ‘cure’ the kind of stalemate that arose during the death of former President Umaru Yar’Adua.
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According to him, generally speaking, the new law had barred any person from occupying the office of president or governor for more than eight years.
Akirika said by contextual and community reading of sections 135 and 137 of the Constitution, the new law would not bar the former president from contesting any presidential election if he chooses to because he did not swear under the amended Constitution as president of Nigeria.
He said: “Under Section 137(1b) A person shall not be qualified for election to the office of President if he has been elected to such office at any two previous elections.
“Would you say Jonathan has been elected to the office of president in two previous elections?” Inasmuch as I don’t think Jonathan is harbouring any intention to contest for Nigerian president now or in future,
“I don’t think the amended Constitution can stop him if he chooses to run, because he was not sworn in as president of Nigeria under the amended constitution.“
Meanwhile, NAIJ.com had reported that Jonathan, in a post on his Facebook account warned Nigerians of an impending accusation against him by people he claimed are out to ruin his reputation.
The former president, who is set to jet out of the country to Sierra Leone, made this post after an allegation in the news that a billionaire supporter of his hired Cambridge Analytica to hack into President Buhari's health and financial records ahead of 2015 election.
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